Unicorn Books and More: Tales of Magical Creatures
Children are fascinated by mythical creatures like mermaids, dragons, and unicorns. Whether you are looking for cute unicorn books or a serious study of Sasquatch, adorable adventure stories or tales about grappling with bullying, this booklist has something for you. From picture books to chapter books and graphic novels, from djinn to dragons, we’ve got a book for all your young readers.
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of some of the books below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Unicorn Books and More: Tales of Magical Creatures
Enjoy these tales of magical creatures, from adorable unicorn books to detailed studies of mythical beasts!
Dear Unicorn is the follow up to the delightful ///Dear Dragon///, both from beloved children’s book author Josh Funk (see my interview). Connie and Nic love exchanging letters through the pen pal program at their schools. Connie loves fine art, while Nic loves cartoons. Connie tends to be a bit pessimistic, while Nic always looks on the bright side. But the biggest difference of all is that Connie is a human and Nic is a unicorn – and they don’t know it! Readers are in on the surprise from the beginning and will enjoy all of the silly misunderstandings. What will happen when they finally meet face to face? Can they see past the obvious differences to realize how much they have in common? I fun book that also teaches a subtle message about making assumptions about others.
Don’t be fooled! Despite what it seems, This Is NOT a Unicorn. It may *look* like one, but this one’s horn can transform into nearly anything you can think of, from an oar to an X-ray machine. In short, this magical friend is even more awe-inspiring than you thought! A silly book to tickle children’s imagination and help them think about how often the perfect friends are those that aren’t afraid to show us all sides of their personality.
My daughter was already a fan of the Emily Windsnap series, so she gobbled up The Truth About Aaron as soon as it arrived (and soon shared it with her best friend). This early chapter book series helps introduce younger children to the characters from the Emily Windsnap novels about a girl who can discovers she can transform into a mermaid. In this third installment, the arrival of a mysterious ship brings excitement to their quiet corner of the ocean but also intrigue. Why are the visitors so fascinated with Aaron’s trident pendant – and what will happen when Aaron confronts them about stealing it from him? The mystery and beautiful illustrations will keep readers turning pages to discover how Aaron and his mermaid friends resolve this latest challenge.
This is a sweet early chapter book about a stuffed unicorn who just wants a home and a child to love. Instead he becomes a Book Buddy, one of the stuffed animals children can check out from the library. When he goes home with young Maya and helps her make a new friend of her own, Dazzle soon learns that wishes do come true, just not always in the way we think they will. A beautiful story about acceptance and inclusion, as well as the challenges and rewards of making new friends.
Bigfoot and Nessie is an adorable graphic novel series for younger readers, about an unlikely friendship between Bigfoot (full name Bigfoot Littletoe, the Third) and Nessie (yes, that Nessie). The pair meet in this first installment, The Art of Getting Noticed, which explores the good and bad side of being a celebrity. Bigfoot feels like a big disappointment because he’s the only member of his family that’s never been sighted, while Nessie is trying to escape all the unwanted attention she received on a daily basis. Together, they learn how freeing it can be to just be yourself, without worrying about what other people think.
The Secret Unicorn Club is a gorgeous book that would make a perfect gift for young unicorn lovers. The high quality book is actually the key to joining a secret club of unicorn experts. It leads you step by step to earning ten badges, such as how to spot unicorns in the wild and how to care for unicorns. Upon earning their final badge, readers then are granted membership into the Secret Unicorn Club and discover a hidden handbook inside the larger book. This small book, exclusively for members, teaches the secret, arcane knowledge of other magical horses in the wild. I would say more, but true unicorn lovers must guard this knowledge very closely. To find out more, you will have to become a member and read the handbook yourself!
The Search for Sasquatch is a wonderful book for older kids who want to know the real story behind the legend. It uses the scientific method to take an in depth into the evidence for and against, as well as the psychology of why we want to believe in Sasquatch. This investigative piece not only shows the research but shows kids how to do further research themselves, including how to hunt for clues and how to analyze them scientifically. A fascinating read for kids who want to get to the bottom of a very old mystery.
Nayra and the Djinn is a graphic novel about the friendship between a girl and a djinn, a mythical being from Islamic folklore. Before the djinn appeared, Nayra’s life seemed overwhelming, from the bullying to a smothering friendship from the only other Muslim kid at school. And it doesn’t help that no one in her family takes her problems seriously, just telling her to be strong and focus on her studies. Then Nayra meets the djinn, who uses their wisdom and powers to helps Nayra with all of these thorny issues. But soon Nayra finds out that the djinn has problems of their own. A compelling story accompanied by lovely ethereal illustrations of the djinn world.
ChupaCarter and the Haunted Piñata is the second in the chapter book series from the hilarious George Lopez. In this spooky story, 12 year old Jorge finds out his friend Carter (a legendary chupacabra) isn’t the only magical creature in their town. It turns out a haunted piñata has been terrorizing parties for years. It all seems funny to Jorge until several of his friends’ parents considering moving away. Can the Jorge and his buddies find out who is really behind the pranks before the town is destroyed? A fun take on a well-known legend from Latinx tradition.
Older children will love this gorgeous, high quality volume. Having Welsh heritage myself, I was particularly intrigued by this carefully researched book based on Welsh mythology. The wonderfully detailed text is accompanied by beautiful sketches of the magical creatures described. It includes a note on the Welsh language and an introduction to Wales itself as well as Welsh mythology. This book is perfect for anyone eager to explore creatures not as well known in the mainstream but just as fascinating, such as Gwyllgi (the Twilight Dog) and Tylwyth teg (Fair folk). A perfect gift for older children and teens.